I have a job offer, but another company wants a 2nd interview. What do I tell them?

In brief, I have a job interview from one company in Chicago (yay) for $X. I haven’t accepted it yet, but plan to.

Yesterday, a different company in Detroit (boo) I recently interviewed with contacted me asking for a second interview. I have no idea what that job pays.

I want the Chicago job, and I wouldn’t bother with this 2nd interview unless I knew that they were really, really interested in me and if the pay was substantially better.

I’m composing an email to the HR chick from the Detroit company to try and say that, but I don’t know how to phrase it.

Something like, “I am currently in the beginning stages of accepting a position elsewhere paying $[number]…” and after that I have no idea how to say it. “Unless you can pay more than [number] and aren’t just jerking me around, take me off your list plz”

If the job offer in Chicago fell through, would you take the Detroit job? If the answer is yes, just go on the interview. You never know what might happen and it’s better to make a decision between two solid job offers than between an offer and potential offer. Most HR people would be reluctant to tell you whether they are leaning towards hiring you in an e-mail.

Have they actually offered to you the job and you have accepted the offer? If the answer is no, you are pre-empting yourself. You could even find yourself with nothing if you say no to an interview in Detroit and Chicago hasn’t actually offered the job to you and you’ve accepted it.

No advice, but your post prompted me to go listen to Truckin’.

Dammit. I have a job OFFER in chicago.

A physical, on-paper job offer.

Super! Great!

Go to the Detroit interview.

Don’t tell anything about the other offer to Detroit unless you would never, ever, ever accept it.

If you arent all that interested in the second position, you don’t have much to lose for asking for the salary you are looking for. If I were to write this letter, my points would be as follows…

-Very interested in the position
-Think I have a lot to offer your company
-Recently been offered a job
-Job pays X amount (I don’t see any harm in bumping this up significantly to your ideal realistic salary demand)
-This presents a dilemma for me.
-I’d rather work for you, but in this economy I’d be a fool to turn down this job offer.
-I know you were planning on a second round of interviews, but if you are truly interested in me for the position, now is the time to make this decision.
-I have X days to make a decision on my current offer.
-Please advise.

I do not follow this line of reasoning. If anything, your position in re: Detroit is strengthened if they know you are in demand. They are interested in you – they asked for a second interview. You don’t need to share details, but you can let them know you are negotiating from strength, and they will have to make it worth your while to come to Detroit.

At my firm lying about your previous salary is grounds for termination.
I don’t see any downside to doing the 2nd interview. But chances are good if you dislike Detroit making more money there won’t make you happy.

Of course you go on the other offer, what if it’s better? Until you start your job you don’t really have the offer.

I recall after 9-11 all the people that got their offers recinded. We had three people give notice and were in the process of leaving when 9-11 happen, all of them lost their offers, which they had on paper, and all of them lost their jobs at the hotel where they gave notice.

And our hotel recinded all their offers as well.

A job offer is nothing, untill you actually start.

I’ve actually had a job offer when the H/R lady called me and said, the guy who quit wanted this job back, so we’re going to go with him. I had another offer pulled when they said the controller that hired me, quit and they were bringing in a new controller who was going to bring in his own staff from his former hotel.

See the message a job offer has no meaning till you start. Even then you have to work so long before, if they turn around and let you go you can collect unemployment.

Never give up an opportunity. You never know. And you don’t need to tell either job anything. It’s none of their business.

I’m confused. You say that you plan to accept the Chicago offer. If so, then simply write to the Detroit company, thank them for their interest in you, praise their company, but tell them that for a variety of reasons you’ve decided to take the Chicago job. Leave it at that.

If you’re not being truthful with us, and what you really want to do is see what sort of $ the Detroit company gives you… Well, that’s completely different. I won’t comment, cuz I would never do it that way myself.

Oh, if one co. was going to offer $40K, and the other one $100K, then yes, I would consider the money very seriously. Still, I never have and probably will never put money as the prime consideration. Inevitably, you’ll do your best at the company you like the most.

Also, it’s rare that one finds oneself in the situation where the pay is substantially different for the same responsibility. Companies tend to pay you what you’re worth, or if not, then less. So my guess is that Chicago and Detroit will be roughly the same amount of pay.

Take the Chicago job.

But you do that once you’re sitting at the table with them. From my experience, the reaction of many people when you do something that sounds like “raising an obstacle” (even though it’s actually an opening for a possible negotiation) is to say “oh, sorry then.”

By going there before opening your mouth, you make that kind of confussion a lot more unlikely. And if you already know you’re going to take the other offer, then what you should say is “sorry, but no.”